Tuesday, 2 November 2021
Department of Education and Skills
656. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the development of an advanced manufacturing training centre of excellence in Dundalk, County Louth; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52027/21]
The Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre of Excellence (AMTCE) in Dundalk is one of the collaborative partnerships being supported by SOLAS under the Innovation through Collaboration Fund which is part of the Skills to Advance initiative. The partnerships involve collaboration by the Education and Training Boards with the private sector, researchers and academics to meet the skills needs for innovation across economic sectors.
Through the AMTCE, Louth Meath ETB (LMETB) is using advanced technologies to provide innovative and creative solutions to address the upskilling needs of those employed in the manufacturing technology areas and to provide employers with the knowledge skills and competencies to make informed decisions regarding planning for the skills requirements of both existing and new employees; including displaced employees, alongside opportunities for reskilling persons who are unemployed. The AMTCE utilises Innovative methodologies to facilitate and deliver training /upskilling, including use of remote, blended online and onsite learning modalities.
LMETB is presently tendering for a contractor to carry out works to the new centre required to comply with normal statutory compliance requirements. These works will enable the installation of certain specialised equipment. It is envisage that a suitably qualified contractor will be appointed and be in contract with LMETB before year end. It is expected that the necessary works will be carried out over a short period of time.
The Centre is presently delivering online and onsite face-to-face courses in relation to the skills requirements of the Manufacturing and Technology sectors in Ireland. These programmes are also supported by Enterprise Ireland through the Border Enterprise Development Fund and Regional Enterprise Transition Scheme. The Centre is continuing to accelerate its programme delivery through to the end of 2021 and is planning an ambitious programme for 2022 including in Centre delivery of courses to industry.
LMETB is actively engaged in the development of cross border linkages/partnership development in the areas of Advance Manufacturing and related disciplines. It is intended that this work will enable the development of strategic alliances which will foster sharing and partnership working on an all-Ireland basis. The Centre has also engaged with Irish, UK and international companies working in the area of advanced manufacturing and technologies training alongside leading companies in the research field of Advanced Manufacturing. In this way the AMTCE Course content offerings are maintained at the highest industrial standards.